The Monday, July 27, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes climate activist and organizer Maya Jarrad of 350PDX and the Climate Action Coalition of Portland, Oregon. Maya will talk about Northwest resistance to, and the destructive impacts of, Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans and vessels, four recent and upcoming, on-the-water demonstrations since the gashed Shell icebreaker Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs, and allied grassroots campaigns against 28 fossil fuel processing and export facilities in Oregon and Washington. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
The Monday, July 20, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) airs excerpts from the June 24 Sandpoint Oil Train Forum, subtitled Pipeline on Wheels through North Idaho, audio-recorded by a WIRT activist at the Heartwood Center in Sandpoint, Idaho. We will hear from forum moderator and Idaho Conservation League north Idaho associate Susan Drumheller, Sandpoint Fire Chief Ron Stocking, and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper executive director and Sandpoint City Council member Shannon Williamson. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
On Monday evening, July 6, through Sunday afternoon, July 12, activists of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), Spokane Rising Tide (SPORT), and the Occupy movement participated in several demonstrations of the Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015, to halt oil train traffic while commemorating the second anniversary of the July 6, 2013, Lac Mégantic, Quebec oil train catastrophe that took 47 lives [1, 2]. Together with climate, environmental, and social justice activists across North America, WIRT and allies organized and staged over 100 powerful and effective, local demonstrations during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action [3, 4]. These events in the United States and Canada stood in solidarity, defense, and protection of the residents of Lac Mégantic, who lost 47 people killed by an exploding oil train, and other frontline, rail corridor communities and our shared global climate, all caught in the crosshairs of the oil and rail industries’ pipelines on wheels.
Although dozens of horrifying, fiery, extreme energy train wreck disasters have occurred over the last two years since the grim Quebec accident, northern Idaho and eastern Washington citizens continue to endure the unsafe, risky, and expanding rail transportation of potentially explosive Alberta tar sands dilbit, moved by the Union Pacific Railroad, and fracked Bakken shale oil, hauled by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), both to Washington and West Coast refineries. BNSF has previously reported that 16 to 19 mile-long oil trains traverse the interior Northwest every week. Additionally on the 70-mile-long, railroad chokepoint between the Sandpoint and Spokane downtown areas, referred to as “the funnel,” BNSF carries dusty, diesel-towed coal from the Powder River Basin along the Montana/Wyoming border to coastal terminals for export. Recently revised federal regulations no longer require BNSF to report the number of oil trains that pass through the region, and have never forced disclosure of Union Pacific tar sands by rail volumes.
With their hazardous loads and reckless resource and policy exploitation, Big Oil and Rail discount and transgress the millions of lives, the human and environmental health and safety repercussions, and the associated carbon and other toxic pollution within the mile-wide, track-side, oil train blast zones, along their paths to profit around the Pacific Rim . In appropriate response, thousands of concerned citizens gathered for 63 events in July 2014, including multiple protest and outreach actions in Sandpoint and Spokane . 2015 participants joined in actions to publicly call attention to the growing threat of “bomb trains,” to display the growing power of the worldwide climate movement, and to demand an immediate ban on all crude oil trains. Continue reading
The July 13, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide features news about demonstrations against Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale crude oil “bomb” trains, during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action across North America. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Monday, July 6, marks the second anniversary of the tragic Lac Mégantic, Quebec, oil train catastrophe that killed 47 people in 2013. Despite dozens of almost as horrifying, fiery disasters over the last two years, the oil industry continues to dramatically expand Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil train transport throughout Canada and the United States. There is no safe way to transport such explosive oil and, with carbon and associated toxic pollution rising, oil trains wreck public and environmental health and safety and the global climate of communities across the continent.
The tragic Lac Mégantic accident grimly reminds us all that Big Oil will stop at nothing to extract, transport, and burn every drop of oil in the ground. Its primary northern Idaho/eastern Washington haulers, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) carrying fracked Bakken shale oil and Union Pacific Railroad moving Alberta tar sands dilbit through the Sandpoint, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, areas, discount the communities they transgress with hazardous loads. Recent, industry-friendly, federal regulation revisions will not check their recklessness. The risks, costs, and millions of lives within the mile-wide, bomb train blast zones along their paths to profit around the Pacific Rim represent only collateral damage to the oil and railroad industries.
In July 2014, thousands of concerned citizens gathered at 63 events for the first Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, including multiple protest and outreach actions in Sandpoint and Spokane . As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies continue to actively oppose Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale oil exploitation and train and pipeline transportation, we refuse to let Big Oil play Russian roulette with our families, friends, homes, businesses, and climate! On July 6 to 12, 2015, people across North America are defending their communities and climate, to halt extreme energy in its tracks and end the oil and rail industries’ pipeline on wheels . We will call attention to the growing threat of oil trains, as we demonstrate the growing power of our movement, organizing more than 100 events across the U.S. and Canada, which demand an immediate ban on oil trains.
Please join WIRT and allies at local demonstrations during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, and/or host or attend an event in your vicinity between July 6 and 12. Together with climate, environmental, and social justice activists across North America, we are organizing various tactics and resources to stage powerful and effective actions and documenting them with photos, videos, audio, and social media, to defend and protect frontline, rail corridor communities and our shared climate. Stand with residents of Lac Mégantic and other communities in the crosshairs of Big Oil, to stop oil trains this July, by participating in one or all of these five actions. Continue reading
On the July 6 Lac Mégantic bomb train disaster second anniversary, the Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully welcomes Sightline Institute policy director Eric de Place. As the keynote speaker of the educational panel presentations and discussions on oil and coal transport and export held in Spokane and Sandpoint on June 23 and 24 and recently throughout the Northwest, Eric will talk about increasing fossil fuel rail traffic and proposals for new and expanding facilities across the region. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
July WIRT Meetings
We have rescheduled the twice-monthly Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) potluck/pizza meetings in July, due to the Fourth of July holiday and July/August WIRT availability in Sandpoint. Please join WIRT activists at 7 pm next Thursday, July 9, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho, and at 7 pm on Saturday, July 18, at Second Avenue Pizza, 215 South Second Avenue in Sandpoint, Idaho. WIRT and allies are scheming multiple summer events expanding the movement against extreme energy, through powerful convergences, training camps, and direct actions for a livable future. Please visit often the constantly updated Events Calendar on the WIRT website and/or contact WIRT for the descriptions, logistics, carpools, and directions to climate justice activities in the inland Northwest region . Get involved in emerging, grassroots, fossil fuels resistance and solidarity with our comrades across the continent, confronting the root causes of climate change!
State Oil and Gas Lease Auction Postponed (Again)!
Throughout 2015, WIRT has been promising, preparing for, and posting about our planned protest of the next auction of oil and gas leases on state lands and minerals by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). The IDL website now notes that “this [July 1] auction has been postponed [for the fourth time this year (January, April, June, and July)!] until the fall of 2015, with an exact date to be determined [October 21, 2015?]. Information on the auction is subject to change.”  Idaho has leased none of its public holdings for oil and gas exploitation this year!
Drilling Unit Integration Applications Stalled!
Another Idaho gasland “set-back” for oil and gas developers Alta Mesa! The 21-day period for formal public comments and responses from impacted land and minerals owners to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ended on June 29 and 30, for two Alta Mesa Services applications for integration (forced pooling by the state of non-compliant, private, potential oil and gas leasers), dated June 8 and 9. But according to the Idaho Department of Lands website, “IDL requested additional information from the applicant, and an amended application is expected . The applications posted here are for public informational purposes only and are not being considered by IDL or the Commission at this time.” Congratulations to our southern Idaho comrades for their great work in holding off the gashole frackers! [4, 5]
Idaho BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest Report
At a public auction in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, May 28, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased 6,349 acres in the Little Willow Creek watershed in Payette County for oil and gas exploration drilling [6, 7]. A lone Wild Idaho Rising Tide protester clad in an organizational T-shirt attended the auction, confronting the BLM with every question she could muster, witnessing possibly rigged, procedural discrepancies, and learning that allies had filed complaints of which few people aware . Continue reading